Evaluating Evolutionary Divergence With Microsatellites

J Mol Evol. 1998 Jan;46(1):121-6. doi: 10.1007/pl00006279.


We report the use of microsatellites (MS) to track the recent evolution of swine. Allelic frequencies for nine MS loci linked on swine chromosome 6 (SSC6) representing four western and one Chinese swine breeds were used to estimate genetic distances and times of breed divergence. A phylogenetic tree was constructed which partitioned into western and Meishan breed branches. Yorkshire and Hampshire breeds exhibited the most recent divergence with a calculated distance of 391 years. The oldest divergence, of 2,227 years, was between Meishan and Hampshire swine. Estimates of breed divergence are consistent with historical records. Additional analysis suggests that polymorphic MS linked on a single chromosome are sufficient to determine evolutionary relationships within a single species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Breeding
  • China
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Heterozygote
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Phylogeny
  • Swine / physiology*
  • United States